I’m Ready for my Crown

This week, I had to make the third trip to our new dentist since our move to Our Little House. He reminds me a lot of the man who was my first dentist (and Dale’s since we grew up in the same town).

My mother helped calm my fears of the dentist as a child, but the small town dentist also had a lot to do with it. He wasn’t scary, nor did he make the visits seem they should be.

I remember him as being older – although when you’re a kid, everyone is “older” – and a friendly, talkative type.

Like the rest of my family, my teeth didn’t seem to get a good start and I had a mouth full of cavities that usually required at least a couple of follow up visits once the obligatory cleaning and check up was completed before school began each fall. He always complimented me on my good behavior and much to my mother’s delight, complimented her as well.

Although I remember whispers of his drinking habits, he never seemed drunk when I was there and he must have done a pretty good job, as our dentist in this small town marveled at his work, some of it now more than 40 years old.

I broke a tooth eating a hamburger when we first moved here. I ignored it because we had so many other things to deal with during the move. For some reason, I found excuses to avoid finding a new dentist here until just six months ago when the tooth started sending sharp reminders more often.

As when I was a kid, I shouldn’t have worried. Our new dentist definitely doesn’t drink, but he always seems happy doing what he’s doing and like the dentist I had when I was a kid, is a very easy going, but talkative guy. He even recommended Dale for a job when another patient was looking for someone, although Dale had already been called back to the boat company. Like the dentist we had as kids, his wife is his dental assistant. This one also has his daughter as the office manager, a true family operation.

On our last trip “home,” we were dismayed to see the old dentists office is not a dentist’s office anymore at all, but something else that further removes the area from it’s small town origins, the place we grew up in.

On the flip side, this town is starting to remind me more of the small town atmosphere in which we were raised. Our new dentist’s office is in a converted house and although more technologically advanced than the office we went to in the 1960s and 70s, reminds me of those days long ago when our hometown was not an annexed suburb of a city.

It’s a good feeling when even the usually unpleasant task of going to the dentist makes me feel as if I’m home.

Have you ever resisted changing doctors, dentists or even your hair stylist, to be pleasantly surprised and maybe even liking them more than the one you had before?

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6 Responses

  1. Bj says:

    As a military child, I was not given much choice in the changes of doctors, or dentist. We went to the clinic on base and you drew whomever was open next. As an adult, this has made me much more loyal to good dentists, and doctors (course I am blessed not to need either often!)

  2. Kathleen Winn says:

    I had the same hair dresser for fifteen years, and when she told me she was moving to Chicago, I was devastated! In a panic, I wondered if Southwest had any special rates on round trip tickets to the windy city. I was forced to change, and am now thankful I did (as are my daughters, who had bugged me for years to update my “do.”) I now go to a salon near my house, with hairdressers who all seem to be under the age of thirty. They are hip, friendly and have brought my hair into the new millennium. They also knocked themselves out to impress me, when they realized I was a new customer in search of a good hairdresser to remain loyal to. We are sometimes dragged kicking and screaming towards change, but I realize now that a lot of resistance to it is just fear, habit and even laziness, easier to stick with what you already know. However, it’s sad that your former hometown has changed in a way that has diminished its charm.

    • I think you’re right about change, Kathleen. It is sad that my hometown has lost all of the charm of a small town feel. It’s unfortunate, but that’s what happens when towns are annexed by the cities.

  3. Alexandra says:

    Alas, yes. When I left France, what I knew I would miss most was the medical care and my doctors. Twas true …